1929 Triumph model 1 #76856
Status: My Collection
Created: 01-08-2021 at 11:39AM
Last Edit: 01-08-2021 at 11:39AM
In March, 2020--just prior to the Covid lockdown--I replied to an ad for this 1929 Triumph model 1 in the Souderton, Pennsylvania area. A young woman was selling it on behalf of her German grandmother. So I called the grandmother to set up a time to purchase the machine. We sat and spoke over tea for well over an hour. This is the story she told me: this was the typewriter owned by her first husband, Wilhelm "Willie" Mueller, of Nuremberg. He was a pacifist, poet, and music teacher. In the 1930s, they fell in love, got married, and moved to the occupied Sudetenland to teach. Only near the end of the war, in 1944/45--when the Nazis needed every warm body they had--was Mueller forcibly conscripted into the German military. He was shipped off to the Eastern Front, where he was presumably killed. His body is likely unmarked in a mass grave somewhere in present day Poland or Eastern Germany. After the war, the German Frau Mueller was forcibly expatriated from the Sudetenland. She was told she had only 18 hours to prepare, and she was being deported. She could only take what she could carry, and that included Willie's Triumph typewriter. She returned to Bavaria, which was in the American sector of occupation. Eventually, she re-married a captain on seagoing transportation ships. They had a relatively comfortable life, and emigrated to the United States in 1961, again bringing the typewriter with them. It is only now that her children and grandchildren had no interest in the machine that she was willing to let it pass into my hands. And I am grateful for that.
Hunter: Mark Schrad (MLSchrad)
Status: Typewriter Hunter
Associate Professor of Political Science at Villanova University. Writes about alcohol politics, Russia, and international law when not refurbishing old typewriters.
RESEARCH NOTE: When researching the Triumph model 1 on a computer with lots of screen real estate, you may find that launching the Triumph Serial Number page and the Triumph model 1 By Model/Year/Serial page in new browser windows can give you interesting perspectives on changes throughout the model series.